Bontoc Farmers urge to insure crops and livestock

BONTOC, Mountain Province- Farmers and fisherfolks of this capital town can visit the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAg) and avail of the free crop, livestock and non- crop agricultural assets insurances of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

The PCIC, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) offers insurance program for rice, high value commercial crop, fisheries, livestock and non-crop agricultural assets such as equipment and machineries. The insurance is an assistance extended to farmers and fisher folks to protect their farm against possible losses due to natural calamities and other forms of agricultural risks such as attack of pests and diseases.

According to Joselito L. Pasiteng of the PCIC–Provincial Extension Office, the application for insurance is free of charge and the insurance claim that an applicant may receive from the PCIC is dependent on the verification and assessment of the damage/loss crop or livestock.

As there is no office of the PCIC in Bontoc, an applicant may get a copy of the application form and submit the same at the OMAg whose office is temporarily located at the 3rd floor of the public market building. Also, Pasiteng advised interested applicant to visit the OMAg for queries on the program as it has always been their partner in assisting clients on the documents required by the PCIC.

Assistant Municipal Agriculturist Catherine F. Agcon clarified their office is only in charge of assisting an applicant to fill-in the application form while the interview, assessment and approval of the insurance assistance of an applicant shall be conducted by the PCIC.

Under the High–Value Crop Insurance Program, an applicant must submit a completely filled-in Application for High Value Commercial Crop Insurance, parcellary or location map, list of growers if applicable and other documents that may be required by the agency.  The coverage shall be on annual basis for annual, biennial and perennial crops while crops which mature in less than one year shall be from planting to harvesting period.

Some of the high value and commercially grown crops identified by the PCIC are abaca, ampalaya, asparagus, banana, cabbage, carrot, cassava, coconut, /coffee, commercial trees, cotton, garlic, ginger, mango, monggo, onion, papaya, peanut, pineapple, sugarcane, sweet potato, tobacco, tomato, water melon, white potato and others.

In an event of loss arising from risks, the PCIC shall be informed thru a Notice of Loss (NL) within 10 days from occurrence loss and before the scheduled date of harvest. In the case of perils affecting crops and fruits of crops which are highly perishable in nature such as blowdown in bananas; strong wind or typhoon–related fruit-dropping in mangoes; typhoon and/or flood affecting vegetable crops like brassicae, bell pepper and the like, cucumber and tomato, the NL shall be filed within 72 hours or three days from the time of occurrence of such peril, or within the prescribed period specified in the policy contract. Also, no claim shall be entertained without proof of filing of NL.

The Claim of Indemnity shall be filed by the assured farmer/ grower within 30 days from occurrence of loss with the PCIC through   the OMAg.  The amount of insurance shall be based on the actual loss of production inputs already applied at the time of loss, prorated cost of harvested crops, salvage value if any, and percentage of yield loss. A claim shall be settled not later than 60 days by submission of complete claim documents to the PCIC.

On crop insurance for rice, it covers a maximum production area of three hectares annually in every household. The documents required are Application for Crop Insurance (ACI), Farm Plan and Budget and Location Sketch Plan or Control Map.

The insurance shall start from the direct seeding or upon transplanting up to harvesting, provided that insurance coverage shall commence from the date of issuance of Certificate of Insurance Cover (CIC) or, from emergence of seed growth. The amount of insurance shall be based on the stage of cultivation at time of loss, actual CPI already applied at time of loss and percentage of yield loss.

The filing of application for coverage is any day before the date of planting up to 15 calendar days of planting. The Claim for Indemnity shall be filed by the assured farmer or any immediate member of his/her family with the concerned PCIC within 45 calendar days from occurrence of loss. A claim shall be settled not later than 60 calendar days by submission of complete claim documents to the PCIC. A claim not acted upon 60 calendar days shall be considered approved.

Under the Fisheries Insurance Program, the documents to be submitted by the applicant are completely filled-in Application for Fisheries Insurance (AFI); Location Sketch Plan (LSP); Fisheries Farm Plan and Budget (FFPB); and other documents that may be required by the PCIC.

The insurance shall cover the cost of production inputs, the value of the fish farmer/fisherfolk/grower’s own labor and those of the members of his own household, including the value of labor of hired workers per FFPB.  The period of coverage shall be from stocking up to harvest as indicated in the FFPB duly certified by an accredited Technologist, which in this case is the OMAg. The insurance coverage shall commence from the date of issuance of insurance policy or actual date of seeding, whichever is later.

In case of loss arising from risk insured against, a written Notice of Loss duly signed by the insured/assured shall be sent to the PCIC within two days from the occurrence of loss and before the crop is harvested. The Claim for Indemnity shall be filed by the insured within seven days from occurrence of loss to the agency.

Pasiteng mentioned that farmers from other municipalities were able to benefit from the program, like for Bontoc, 40 farmers have already applied of the insurance program since April 2018.

By Alpine L. Killa

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